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The Game called Life

Wanna see what you’re playing for?
Why ‘ya wanna see what you’re playing for?

The finish lines’ still blur,
And the race is On!

Very few will achieve,
What you are craving for!

Fame & Immortality,
Are the luxuries of God.

While the rest of us,
Will be deceased and gone.

Take it easy,
Take it slow.

Live in the moment,
And let it go!

The 'happy place' ya seek,
Isn’t next door.

Delve within,
Find your soul.

Therein lies the stakes,
Of what you should be playing for...

Just don’t look for the end,
Coz the self- portrait would be mundane.

But the travelogues will testify,
That the journey was worthwhile.

Winner or loser,
Only fate will decide.

Only later,
Will ya realize...

To become an enduring memoir,
Was the purpose of playing all this while...

                                                                   - T.E.O


The Twist of Fate

                    The simian woke up to witness the horror. Anybody would have panicked seeing blood gushing out from the wrist. He tried to flee, but they were too many against one. Leaping for the chandelier, he crashed down and became unconscious again.

                     The Raj-Vaidya* ordered his disciple to continue the procedure, chiding another pupil for his miscalculation of the dosage of anaesthetic administered. The curtains fluttered and everyone felt the chill.


                       The King picked up the mummified paw, turning it over to see the cut. Brutal ! But it had to be done, he concluded. Sighing he inquired about his pet monkey’s health. Just few more days of suffering for the terminally ill, Raj-Vaidya informed his highness.

                       The monarch waved his hand to gesture that he be left alone. The paw didn't feel the same; it had turned cold with resentment. He could no longer face his pet pal, the one with whom he had shared all his wishes. Wishes- which got fulfilled till date. The Raja was wise enough to know that the monkey had magical power.

                       The Raj –Vaidya had narrowed it down to his paw. The monkey had a wish-fulfilling magical right paw. He was to be treated like royalty henceforth.


                       The primate was chained for safety. The innocuous pet had turned aggressive after the operation. Feeding him was getting cumbersome. He shrieked and scratched anyone who dared to come closer. His eyes were watery and searched beyond the vicinity for his master.

                      He believed that the King would come and rescue him. The news reached his majesty. Driven with guilt the King couldn't sleep a wink; so he decided to visit his special friend. The monkey jumped with joy on seeing the troupe. His face suddenly froze when he saw ‘the paw’ on the golden plate.

                     The monarch asked everyone to leave them alone. Picking up the raj-bhog* , he started feeding his dear mate. The monkey gulped the food down, waiting for his master to talk. Words which would reverberate till death started flowing, “ I..er..needed the wishes.” The King stuttered. “You know, you are ill. I had no option, but to cut your magical paw. The Raj- Vaidya ensured that it would be painless for you. I am sorry.”

                       It took some time for the simian to grasp. Finally, rage took over and he scratched the monarch’s face aiming for the eye. The King moved back in reflex, he after all was a great warrior. It wounded his heart. He turned and left the shrieking monkey to bicker, vowing never to visit again.


                        After the blasphemy that the primate had dared to attempt, everyone turned hostile towards him. He was starved to an early death. They could hear him mutter some chants. During his final days, he had attained a peaceful stance. Only his eyes were red with revenge.

                        No one dared to go near him. His majesty was informed about his routine frequently. The King was no longer interested in the monkey; he already had the magical paw. And its effects were already been seen, with one of his wishes already getting fulfilled. The East India Company had shown interest in investing in his Kingdom.

                      He had taken the paw along, when the talks were on and he wished before sleeping that they approve his proposal. The paw now felt warm and friendly, just like his simian friend. He paid the Raj-Vaidya handsomely when the wish got fulfilled, promising him funds for construction of a grand hospital.

                      Everyone had forgotten about the monkey, till the time the paw went missing. The Raja panicked and ordered a reward. Posters of the mummified paw were distributed throughout the kingdom. Houses, temples and workplaces were searched. Well –known thieves were taken into custody.

                     Finally, the sweeper, who noticed the stench coming from the room where the monkey was kept, earned the reward of finding the magical paw. The monkey had died while summoning his paw, which lay close to his amputated wrist. The face of the monkey had turned evil with decomposition. Cleaners shuddered before entering the room.


                        The Raja performed a pious puja* to free the magical paw from any malicious spirit, as guided by the Raj-Jyotish*. People saw the paw move like a snake and gasped. But nobody dared to mention it to his Highness.

                       The King oblivious of his fate started carrying the paw with him from the next day onwards. Whispering his wishes by holding on to the warmth of the paw at night. Things started backfiring, one by one. India was taken over by the East India Company and it slowly started threatening to take over his kingdom as well.

                      The monarch had allies among the Britishers and they allowed him to rule albeit under their guidance. New taxes and rules were implemented, the common man rebelled. His family got killed in the revolt. The Raja was dethroned and East India Company took over. His highness lamented about his foolhardy ways, but it was too late.

                      Ashamed to face his own people, he became a wanderer. His only companion being the wretched paw, which he couldn't get rid of. If he left it somewhere, someone would come rushing towards him handing over his possession. He tried in vain, to burn, bury or drown it, but the paw always magically came back.

                     He had stopped wishing on it long back. He had learned a very important lesson the hard way, that fate cannot be interfered with and those who try to manipulate fate end up getting devastated like him. He preached as he hiked from one place to another, doing menial jobs, begging for food at times. He never stayed at one place for long, lest somebody recognized him.

                     He was now lovingly called ‘Fakir baba’, the one who shared stories and preached. He also learned a few magical remedies from Sadhus*, whenever he came across one who was ready to share his insight, thus lowering the potency of the paw. He couldn't completely get rid of the magic before he died. The paw now had a limited wish granting capacity but in a twisted way. Which the curious man who picked up the paw from the Fakir’s dead hand came to know.


( Hope you enjoyed this Pourquoi fiction. Suggestions and concrits are welcomed.)


Raj- Vaidya :- The royal physician.
Raj- Bhog :- The royal feast.
Raj- Jyotish :- The royal astrologer.
Puja :- Religious ritual / Prayer with offerings.
Sadhu :- A holy man/ sage / ascetic.

Pinocchio's First Date

Once in a while, in the middle of a story, you find an interesting twist. The twist may add something to the story or may be the result of an over-enthusiastic author’s creative mind which needs to be edited. The following excerpt is from the Adventures of Pinocchio which got lost on the editing table.1


                            The Fairy with Turquoise hair was very happy with Pinocchio’s progress at school. After all, it was almost a year since Pinocchio was being an exemplary marionette. Leaving the Eugene incident, her child had been obedient throughout. “It’s time to set him free,” she sighed.

                    Inadvertently the Fairy had grown fond of Pinocchio. “But what has to be done; has to be done,” she decided. She would break the news to him this evening, “Let’s celebrate together for the last time.” She started making plans.


                            Pinocchio meanwhile had fallen head over heels in love. He too wanted to share this good news with the Fairy mother since last week. But the biological coward that he was, he couldn’t muster enough courage to share it with her, forget the one he loved. It was love at first sight, when he saw Candlewick surreptitiously flicking an apple from the fruit cart. His slender arms made it look like a mesmerizing graceful act.

                    Pinocchio suddenly felt ashamed of his wooden rickety frame. It was Candlewick who noticed him staring from a distance each day and confronted him. Pinocchio stuttered and before his nose grew in size he covered his face and ran homeward. After that incident they just exchanged coy smiles at each other which graduated to passing chits in which they generally chatted. He inwardly prayed to be a real boy, so that he could be real friends with Candlewick.

                  That evening, when the Fairy with Turquoise hair shared with him that his days of puppet-hood were almost over and he could invite his friends over for a party; Pinocchio confessed his infatuation for Candlewick to her. Being a mother, she could see the love in his eyes but she never trusted Pinocchio’s choice of friends.

                  She asked him to bring Candlewick along the next day to the party.  Pinocchio shared his fears with her; he didn’t want his nose to grow in front of Candlewick. “Then don’t lie” the Fairy calmly stated. Pinocchio started sulking, which melted her heart. She couldn’t let her last day with him get ruined.

                  The Fairy with Turquoise hair was known to hedge her bets and never lose. She handed over a sandpaper handkerchief to Pinocchio and cast a spell for a runny nose. So, whenever he would wipe his nose it would automatically reduce in size. The spell would be broken if Pinocchio kissed Candlewick, she warned him in advance.

                   Pinocchio was ecstatic. Finally, he would face Candlewick and speak to him in person. He couldn’t sleep well that night. Dreamy eyed, he woke up early to get ready and leave to invite everyone for his bash. The Fairy was emotional and did not want to miss a single moment of Pinocchio’s last day as a marionette. She started live- streaming the events on her whitewashed sheet left to dry, ordering everyone else to prepare for the evening.

                   She regretted it the moment she saw Pinocchio eloping with Candlewick to the Land of toys. Her son had abandoned her once again...she should have been prudent.



                                                            1. Since it’s a Pinocchio fiction, you shouldn’t believe everything I say ;)

Beginning from the End…

                  The earth was becoming extinct. The end was near. Resources were depleting fast.  Nature was no longer an ally. Its fury had gulped most of the fertile land, covering it with water, ice and sand. It was a total white out! But the perseverance of man, made his kind survive.

                             Years rolled by and people adapted. Goodwill  was dead. It happened gradually and no one noticed. Generations over generations; people grew up to become selfish, mean and self –centered. Man was transformed into a uni-dimensional being and feelings became redundant. This normalization was carried out by the primal survival instinct.  Evolution was turning a full circle.

                              It was the age of downfall and the devil of death ruled the world. People trusted no one but self. With limited resources the earth would soon be extinct, was a fear instilled from birth.  ‘Darkness would prevail’- the prophecies had declared long back. The only means to survive was to kill thy neighbor.

                           Things were bleak, before the wheel of change turned. Kwashiorkor escaped death by whiskers. Fishes symbolized life for people and hence they never hunted them. But, Kwashiorkor needed fish for his survival.  For every fish he killed, he would breed two in his vessel. People were aghast.  They waited for the devil to punish him, but he survived his fate.

                       People started fearing him. Some looked upon him with reverence. ‘Buddha’ was the title given to him to suit his small stature, protruding belly, sparse hair and a serene toothless grin. By the time Buddha grew up to be an adolescent, he already had a cult following his norms.

                     He taught his people to give into the world whatever you take from it twice in form; and never take something you can’t give back. An ecological balance was created. But Buddha was in search of the elusive horizon. Legends described it as the most beautiful sight in the world.

                        People said it was merely an optical illusion which did not exist. Buddha was not convinced; hence he took to the road, in search of his horizon, spreading his teachings on the way....till he himself became a myth to be retold from one generation to another.




                                   (Sharing the video that inspired this writing..:) Suggestions and Concrits welcomed.)


                                            * 404

(  Check out the story here: Beginning from the End   )


        Clarke was in dire need of a psychiatrist. He himself was aware of the warning signs. ‘Rose is a myth, a dream’, he repeated to his subconscious. Yet, Clarke was smitten. Logic never works when love is involved and he often found himself daydreaming about Rose.

                         He met Rose few months back and instantly felt protective about her. Her childlike innocence turned him on; Clarke had never seen someone so vulnerable in his entire work span. Rose was always accompanied by Cher or Quiroz. But the vice versa wasn’t true. He longed to see Rose, whenever he met either of them.

                        Cher was vivacious, flirty and full of confidence. She would never let Rose talk. He always associated Cher with brightness, her laughter was infectious. She always had stories to share. Stories which had no timelines, locations were irrelevant. Clarke always enjoyed her company, until he met Rose.

                        Rose was mystical, dreamlike. She came fleeting like memory lost in the realms of the mind. Shy and intimidated, she hardly opened up. But her silence spoke of bruises of the past. He wanted to comfort her, tell her that she is not alone any more. But all Clarke could muster was “It was nice knowing this side of you.”

                        It didn’t work and he cursed himself for days later. Rose had disappeared leaving Cher behind. Clarke continued his sessions with Cher, hoping in vain to catch a glimpse of Rose. And when he was about to give up his notion, she came back. Quiroz was her new ally and Clarke was astounded by his own emotions.

                       It was then, Clarke realized that he was infatuated. The pleasure that he experienced could never be described in mortal words. Rose hardly spoke and coyly smiled when he asked her about her well-being. She picked up the guitar that lay in the corner and played a mesmerizing tune. Clarke was dumfounded. She left, gifting him dreams of a haunting melody.

                      Now, it had been two week since he had last seen her. Quiroz visited him more often than Cher. But Rose was nowhere in sight. Clarke was partially relieved, since it was against his professional ethics to get involved with someone seeking help. Yet, he was subconsciously distressed.

                     Talking to Quiroz was of no assistance. She was one hell of a feminist, who hated the masculine gender. Profanity was always at the tip of her tongue and though it sometimes sounded hilarious but most of the times it came across as an aggressive trait. She was dark, brooding and mistrusting to the core. Her headaches and forgetfulness were responsible for her unpleasant disposition. Clarke was finding it difficult to handle her, especially when he was craving to inquire about Rose.

                    He started researching and reading for ways to bring Rose back. They all concluded it couldn’t be done; hence he started this futile attempt of convincing himself that ‘Rose is a myth, a dream with no meaning.’ It didn’t aid. Not an ounce.

                   When you break a vow, there are repercussions. Being a psychiatrist, he knew when he needed one…

  (Suggestions & Concrits are welcomed. You can read and vote for more such entries here:http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/891400.html.)

Life's Like That !


                Choices! They carve our life. We all are surrounded by many parallel stories.  Some stories we don’t pursue till the end; leaving them halfway to follow something more sparkling to our soul.

              While some enamor us till infinity. She was one such story. I was destined to love her till death. Cupid smiled while people scorned. Everyone warned me not to fall for her charms. But isn’t charm a virtue befitting to be fallen for? *

                        We got married that spring!

*“All lies and jest still; a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

              Love! An emotion so grand; that it gives you a rose-tinted vision. Everything seems conquerable when you have a companion to share your hardships with.

             Not that we never fought. But our squabbles were mere foreplay for kindling our passion. Looking back, it feels like yesterday. But in reality we were two kids and twenty-five years old. Something died inside me the day she broke the news.* *

                                                      She was leaving me forever.

* *“When you live for someone you’re prepared to die.”

              Betrayal! How could she? When we promised each other eternity? Wasn’t I good enough? Where did I lack? And did she not trust me enough to share her plight?

             I must have been blind. I should have been aware of the symptoms that now glared at me. Why me? I was angry; with her, with the world, more so with myself. How could I live when she was dying? I had lost the meaning of life.* * *

                                   I begged, pleaded and bargained in vain.

* * *“This is a gift, it comes with a price, who is the lamb & who is the knife?

                Death! Of relationships, memories, emotions and likes. She left me in cold. I was numb for days. There was nothing to look forward to. Everything seemed meaningless.

                Kids spoke the language that I couldn’t decipher. How could they be heartlessly practical? Where were the emotions that we both had lovingly instilled in them? The definition of Life had probably changed. I was at loss.* * * *

                               I dissolved to become oblivious.

* * * *“The security deposit is non-refundable & will be retained by management as liquidated damages.”


                                                                  (Suggestions and concrits are welcomed.)


Critical Writer

                    Writers accused her of “All of the ignorance; none of the manners.” With every book review Anna became notorious as too honest to be a book critic. Unfortunately, she had a huge fan following and any book with Anna’s rare positive review was destined to be a bestseller.

                   She carried the air of arrogance like a tiara; never ever apologizing for her ruthless words that might have killed a book. But as they all say, ‘what goes around; comes around.’ Anna was challenged to write a book which would win hearts by a writer’s association. After much contemplation, she accepted it albeit with a clause.

                 What Anna hadn’t taken into consideration was she might not be in a very great condition when she retired from being a book critic. The clause about writing a book after retirement was brought to her notice; and with ailing eyesight and Parkinsonism knocking at her door, she accepted the challenge wholeheartedly. Anna was a daredevil even at the ripe age of seventy.

               She put her heart and soul into her writing. Caressing each word, strictly correctly the flaws and marveling at the beauty that was hidden within her. She enjoyed the process of watching her novel grow. The pleasure was so addictive that she didn’t mind the pain and frustration that followed when she got stuck due to lack of ideas. Creativity was doing wonders for her health too. There was a mysterious glow surrounding her. Time flew and within a year, her manuscript was ready to be delivered to the world.

               ‘Let’s Go to the Mall’ covered the dark areas of mall culture in a very light-hearted way. The story revolved around a sweet family which gets separated in a mall during a stampede caused by a super weekend sale. One of the kids grow up to become a terrorist who despises Mall, the other becomes a Mall attendant. While the parents keep searching for them, spending all their life’s earning in travelling from one mall to another across the country. The family reunites in the mall wherein the terrorist kid holds everyone at ransom including his mall attendant brother and parents. As hours pass they recognize each other and all live happily ever after once the jail term is served.

               Anna was so proud of her work that she wanted to give the honor of publishing it to best publishing house. But alas, the publishing house rejected her grand plan by politely declining the offer by stating that the novel was too futuristic for today’s times. It felt like a massive ovary punch which hurt her for days to come. Anna wasn’t the one to give up hope, so the rejection letters grew in numbers as the years passed by.

            She took the rejection to heart and Anna became bedridden by her seventy-seven birthday. The family wanted to fulfill her last wish so her grand-kids self-published the book. When she touched the hardcover, tears brimmed over her hazy eyes and all she could mutter was, “I can’t even…” She died peacefully with the book in her arms and smile on her face.

                            ‘Whether the book became a bestseller’- is something nobody discussed.


                    (The Idea germinated from this strip. Hope you enjoyed reading. Concrits and suggestions are welcomed.:))



                She was born organic; in thoughts, words and deeds. An epitome of innocence and beauty, she was blessed to beget similar beings. About the curse…she learned as she grew up to be… a woman.

                The earth that she inhabited and loved to the core was actually stubborn and flawed since lore. She was bound by the shackles of orthodox traditions and was taught to lead her life with a lot of restrictions. Reasoning didn’t work with the adamant earth. “Life’s like this and you should feel fortunate. It’s for your own betterment, why can’t you get? ” was confidently drilled into her logical intellect.

              Someone had to change and she began to flex.  Since adapting to the situation was lauded everywhere. Earth smiled and declared that now she was mature. That very day she learned to wear a mask which was impermeable to the world.  She weaved a cocoon over her ailing heart and started following the rigid rules which were laid for thousand eons.

             But her heart still had a burning desire to be free. It fluttered with passion at every opportunity. Away from the prying eyes of the earth; she daydreamed of creating a fabric of equality. She secretly passed on this dream to her fellow beings.

            Some accepted, while most rejected her designs. But the idea had germinated inside many minds. The heart and mind worked in harmony to break free from bondage of eternity. Evolution finally bowed before freedom of expression.

          A void that was felt for years was now filled with compassion. They named her ‘Ether’ - Goddess of female liberation!



                                                    (Suggestions and Concrits are always welcomed. )


There she goes again....

              I am a closet romantic. I enjoy reading, watching, experiencing romance. But then, I can’t write or articulate romance like others can. Anything remotely romantic sounds super sarcastic when I try saying it. So, Duh!

              My tryst with romance started with DDLJ (1995) and no it’s not a movie that anyone hated; rather it’s a cult classic which has been running here (Maratha mandir, Mumbai) for 20 years. It was a story of a guy wooing the entire family just to marry the girl of his dreams (Awwwww…)

              And with that, I became a Fanof Mr. Shah Rukh Khan aka SRKalias Badshah of Bollywood. A guy from a humble middle class background making it big only through sheer hard work and enthusiasm became my idol. And as I grew vertically, horizontally and intellectually, my notion of romance changed. “Love is Friendship” is an adage that SRK taught me and I still believe in it (Even after 16 odd years).

             We both went through phases of “unrequited love” and I too cried when Devdas died without meeting Paro right at her doorstep. (Psst…it’s a secret! The sooner you forget the better it is. And dare not tease me about it…)

              All Most of SRK’s movies were a hit and everyone loved them. Except, for Ra.One . People slammed that movie right, left and centre.  I obviously loved it. The movie was a breakthrough for Bollywood in terms of VFX.

              The storyline involved a stereotypical Tamil gaming programmer who in order to fit into his son’s cool world, develops a video game wherein the villain is more powerful than the hero. The problem starts when the virtual villain gains enough power to come out of the game to kill his son (Lucifer) who left the game halfway.

               The video game had a lot of Ramayan references and that was one of the things that impressed me. Secondly, the Father-son relationship was very beautifully captured through various instances like – A father giving away his wallet and valuables to a robber just because his son is accompanying him.Which results in his son calling him ‘coward’. The same guy doesn’t blink an eye while standing in front of Ra.One and admitting he himself is “Lucifer” to save his son from the wrath.

               The female protagonist had a feminist streak and her rant about why all the cuss words start with mother/sister instead of father/brother made me chuckle. Though most of the jokes in the movie are pretty lame with loads of double entendre; the parallel story of virtual becoming real kept me hooked. The train sequence closer to climax is a must watch and is pretty decently done.

                And the message that, “Good always wins over evil, no matter how indestructible evil may look” makes it a movie which is worth watching. While most people in India watched it for Superstar Rajinikanth..B)


(And by the time I submit in this entry, there has already been a terror attack in Pathankot on 2/01/2016. Have I become numb?..Nope. Am I angry with the situation?..Absolutely! But I feel more and more helpless about this situation than anything else. What would stop Terrorism ? I have no clue. And it kind of makes me sad, that there is no existing solution to this worldwide problem. - My 1 cent on terrorism, which I avoided taking up as a topic this week because I have no answers.)

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